The shameful and hollow stance of federal Minister for Education on the issue of fake degrees reminds us of the moral and ethical retardation of our ruling elite. The danger it poses to our way of life, our education and the future of this country should be obvious to all. There is a growing disconnect between the large majority of people of Pakistan, who through voluntary donations to charity have enabled organizations like Edhi Welfare Trust to run efficiently, and the political elite and bureaucracy of the country which has been busy pilfering state funds through rampant corruption. Whatever the political repercussions of the fake degrees saga, the country's education system is under strain. Its credibility is being sacrificed at the altar of just one sinful short term objective, that of saving a political system dominated by greed, corruption and lack of principles. Years of neglect of the education sector, largely due to paucity of funding, have already dealt a death blow to it. Education has become a money-making business for a few private entrepreneurs instead of long term investment in future of the nation by our government. The religious fanaticism that haunts Pakistan today has grown on diet of ignorance caused by the state shying away from its primary obligation of investing in education. The void caused was filled by madressas. What else would you expect when three-star generals are offered the political bribe of becoming Vice Chancellors of universities? No wonder we are placed in category of failed states along with the likes of Somalia. This should not have been the fate of a country which achieved independence after a constitutional and political struggle led by men of virtues and integrity like Quaid-e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah & Allama Iqbal. -MALIK TARIQ ALI, Lahore, July 24.